"Tell me again, what're we going to do?" asked Scotty.
"We're just going to go look into William's garbage cans and see if we can find any evidence of what's going on."
"And just what is it you expect to find in his trash?"
"Well I'm not exactly sure, but there has to be something in those trash bags that creepy guy in the beat up old Celica is delivering to William's father. William told me the skinny little freak's name is Lenny, but he refused to talk about what he was delivering to his house. I figure when William's old man is done with them, he probably tosses them in the trash."
Scotty seemed to be pondering that comment. I halfway expected him to argue the sensibility of our adventure with me. Instead, he just stared thoughtfully out the window. When we arrived at the trailer park, I turned my lights off and drove extremely slow along the narrow streets. I pulled into a side street one block away from William's trailer and parked in front of a double wide. I grabbed my metal Mag light and a pocket knife from the glove compartment, pulled my black beanie down low over my forehead, and said," C'MON! Let's do this."
Scotty pulled his beanie down low over his forehead like I had done, and we climbed out of the Mustang. We crossed the narrow, dimly lit street and could see that lights were on in William's trailer. There was a really nice car that appeared to be a BMW with some sweet chrome rims on it, as well as Lenny's old, POS Celica parked out in front of William's trailer.
"It looks like William has company," Scotty said. "Maybe we should leave and do this another time."
"No, I want to see if I can hear what's going on. That old beat up car is that Lenny guy's car. This could be a perfect opportunity to figure this thing out."
"If you insist, but I don't have a good feeling about it."
"Let's slip between these two trailers and come up along the fence line," I suggested. We walked carefully and silently between two dark trailers until we reached the fence on the outside edge of the trailer park. We carefully inched our way towards William's trailer glancing over our shoulders and listening all around us.
"There are the trash cans," Scotty said pointing toward the back of William's trailer where two large, black, waste cans on wheels were sitting. "Let's quickly look inside and see if there's anything suspicious, and then let's get the hell out of here."
"Okay, let's do it." We crept forward and carefully lifted the lids on the large, black, plastic cans. I clicked on my flashlight and looked into the first can. "Yes! There's one of the bags in here." Scotty reached in with me and helped me pull the heavy trash bag out of the can. We set it on the ground at the foot of the trashcan. Scotty took the flashlight and held it for me while I attempted to undo the knot in the bag. I was unable to untie the knot, so I pulled out my pocket knife and opened the blade. I slit the bag open just below where it was knotted. The odd and unyielding shape was encased in not just one or two, but three bags. The bags were all puffed out like they were pumped full of air. I sliced through them all and spread them open to peer inside and satisfy our curiosity. It was as if the bag exhaled on us as I spread open the slit and shined my flashlight beam onto a bloated, mutilated carcass.
I'm not sure if it was the putrid smell or the ghastly sight that triggered our reaction, but Scotty and I both had to move to the side of the trailer, drop to our knees, and puke. We both wretched our guts out until tears were streaming down our cheeks and we were gasping for air. The smell of our bile was like sweet perfume compared to the putrid smell in the bag we'd just opened. I wiped my mouth on my sleeve and crawled away from our pool of puke. I leaned against the trailer skirting and greedily gulped the cool night air into my lungs. Scotty gagged one last time and then crawled over to sit next to me. We were very near to William's bedroom window and we could hear the voices inside.
"William, I'm not going to ask you again. Drop your pants and show Mr. Petrovich your damn dick."
"No father, please don't require me to expose my genitalia. I despise it. It's an unrighteous request."
"Don't start in with that religious crap. You've shown it to that doctor's brat happily enough so don't go acting all high and mighty now."
"I do not wish to comply with your inappropriate request."
William's father's voice boomed out, and I could imagine the redness and anger in his face as he said, "Then I'll expose it myself. Lenny, grab his arms."
"All right, all right, I'll succumb to your demands. I see that I am overpowered. Please remove your hands from me, so that I may comply," William said in a somber tone.
I was fuming. I moved to my knees and began to stand, ready to barge in and rescue William, but Scotty wisely gripped my arm and held a finger to his lips. "If you want to find out what exactly is going on, you need to be patient and listen a little bit longer."
"But they're abusing him!" I seethed.
"Not yet, wait and see what's going to happen," Scotty said calmly. I knelt there debating whether to take Scotty's advice or to charge around the trailer and burst through the door and rescue William. While pondering my decision, another voice broke the gloomy silence. It was a raspy voice with a heavy accent.
"So, what Lenny told me is true. Your son's penis is no longer bent. What about when he gets an erection? Does it remain straight?"
"Yes sir," William jumped in to answer. "I assure you that my penis remains perfectly linear while in a state of erection."
"Show me," the raspy voice requested.
"No, please sir, trust me. I do not wish to display my erection. I honestly assure you that my penis remains perfectly straight."
"Just show him!" William's father demanded. "Do it now or I'll slice your last testicle off, grind it up and feed it to you, and you know I'm capable of it. This is my big chance, and you and your prudish religious nonsense is not going to stand in my way." There was a pause and then William's father added, "Do you understand me?"
"Yes sir. I understand." William's voice was shaking. I stood and started towards the front of the trailer Scotty came after me and grabbed me around my chest. I spun and pushed him away. "Don't! I can't let this go any longer."
"We need to know more. We need to know why they care about William's operation. Please just be a little more patient." It took all of my willpower to move back underneath William's window. I didn't sit down this time; I remained standing, ready to charge on a moment's notice. I imagined the dread poor William was feeling as he was forced to perform this most private act in front of his father, that sleazeball Lenny, and the unknown man with the weird accent. It's one thing to have to do it in front of a physician but quite another in front of strangers. I gripped the cold steel of my heavy metal flashlight in anger.
The raspy voice spoke again after several minutes of distressing silence, "It is indeed perfectly straight as you promised. But I am still a bit curious. Mr. Thames, you said something about a doctor's brat. Let me look more closely; move your hands away and let me inspect your penis, young man." There was a brief pause before the raspy voice exclaimed, "Aha, just as I suspected - a scar! It was clever of you, Mr. Thames, to hide the scar within the folds of your son's foreskin, but obviously, he has undergone an operation by a doctor."
"No. No, it was not a doctor, it was me. I had to umm, umm, surgically open his foreskin in order to umm, umm, directly apply the elixir onto the tendons and ligatures in order for the cure to be effective. With some additional research, and your continued patience, I will be able to administer the therapy with merely an arthroscopic procedure."
"I do not believe you Mr. Thames. Do you really consider me that much of a fool? I have been more than patient with you and you have attempted to defraud me."
"May I be permitted to get dressed now?" William asked.
"Yes you may," replied the raspy voice, "I have seen the evidence of your father's deception."
"Wait! Not so fast. What about his development? The little freak's already growing back more hair than he had previously. And look, his penis is thicker and darker in color. Give me two more months of testicular therapy time and you will see a marked difference in his sexual development. The formula I have developed using the dog testicles you've been providing me with is really working.
"I'm sorry Mr. Thames, but there will be no more time allotted you. I suspect the doctor. who performed the operation has also given him hormonal therapy that you are attempting to piggyback on. William, has the doctor given you anything to make your genitalia grow?"
"Yes sir. I have received injections for that purpose."
"No! William, tell him the truth that I am the one giving you injections. Tell him I am the doctor. I went to medical school, and I was brilliant in my research. I am on the verge of being capable of increasing the length and girth of the human penis. They stole my research and they shut down my lab. They fired me in disgrace, but I will be triumphant. There was no evidence that I had in any way abused those runaway boys that I was using for testing. They were willing participants. I'll show them and the whole world. Every man on earth will flock to me to get their deepest desire satisfied. Just give me a little longer to prove it, I beg of you. William, tell him! Tell Mr. Petrovich that I am the one!"
"Mr. Petrovich, my father has, in truth, given me injections of his own apothecary into my scrotal sac using the mixture he derives in his kitchen lab using the canine testicles you supply him. I am not qualified to testify which therapy is being effective, but I have most recently detected slight indications of maturation in my genitalia."
"Enough lies," the raspy voice shouted. Lenny was laughing in the background until the raspy voiced man told him to shut up. "Mr. Thames, you have basically two choices, pay me the $50,000 that you owe me, or work it off in my extraction lab. Demand is high from real researchers that actually have money to pay for my services."
"Son of a goddamned bitch! I don't really have a choice, do I?"
"No, Mr. Thames. You don't really have a choice. Pack a suitcase with some changes of clothing and other essentials and get a coat, it's chilly outside."
"You mean, I'm leaving with you right now?" There was more than justa hint of panic in William's father's voice. I was glad now that Scotty prevented me from bursting into the house. It appeared that William's father was going to get what he deserved without any effort on our part.
"William," began the raspy voiced man, "tell your mother that your father won't be returning home for a while. Tell her he is getting his lifelong wish to work in a medical lab, my special lab." Then addressing William's father he said, "Pack your essentials quickly. I want to get out of here."
I made my way to the edge of the trailer and waited for a peek at the men as they left. Scotty reluctantly followed me. I peered around and watched until a short, balding, well-dressed man got into the shiny BMW. Lenny and William's father climbed into Lenny's junker. I couldn't seethe license plate on the BMW, but I had the good sense to memorize Lenny's license plate. I pulled out my phone and sent a text to Scotty with the license plate number so I wouldn't forget it.
I grabbed Scotty's sleeve and tugged him towards the back of the trailer. We held our noses as we ran past the reeking, mutilated, dog carcass that was in the plastic bag. The image of the poor animal with its hindquarters spread open exposing its mutilated genitalia caused me to involuntarily gag several more times. Scotty had the same reaction.
We rushed between the dark trailers, across the street, and into my Mustang. I started it and traveled along the side streets back to the main exit of the trailer park. I exited the park directly behind Lenny's car. I could see the silhouette of Lenny and William's father in the front seat. I assumed that the lights behind me belonged to the BMW and as soon as I turned onto the highway, I could tell it was, in fact, the well dressed man with the raspy voice in the car behind us.
"Shit Kyle, we're right between them. Turn off at the first street you come to."
"No, let's follow for a while and see where they go. They'll never suspect that we're tailing since we're in the middle of them."
"Okay, listen, I've gone along with this so far but now it's gettingreally stupid. Just turn off and let's go back to your house. There's no need to take any more stupid chances following these asses."
"Look, we'll just follow for a little while and get an idea of where they're headed. I just have an intuitive feeling that it may be important for us to know."
"No. What you have is a cat-like curiosity that's going to get us both killed, and we don't have nine lives. Turn at this next street coming up. I mean it." I thought Scotty was being a little ridiculous but I could tell he was truly frightened and I didn't want to keep scaring him like that. I began slowing and signaled a turn but then Lenny also turned. I thought about continuing on straight but since I had signaled already, I thought that might look even more suspicious. When we reached the corner, I followed Lenny around it and the BMW turned in behind us.
"Why in the hell did you just do that?" Scotty asked without disguising the angry panic welling up inside of him. "We're driving into a dark industrial area. This is a really bad idea. I think you should make a U-turn and get the hell out of here now."
"But that would just look more suspicious," I objected. "I promise I'll turn at the very next street." And true to my word, right after a large warehouse, I turned onto a small street but to my dismay, even though Lenny had gone straight, the BMW turned in behind us and kept following us." Oh shit dude, he's following us." I suddenly fought the urge to pee my pants and I was shaking so badly, I could hardly press the gas pedal.
"I told you, didn't I? Didn't I say to turn off? But no, you had to play detective and now there's no telling what might happen to us." Scotty was on the verge of tears. The distraught emotion in his voice was heartbreaking and contagious as I started to join him in his panic.
"I know it's my fault, you were right all along. I should have listened. But what are we going to do?" I was trying not to panic, but I was so scared for our lives, that I couldn't help it. I sped up and the BMW sped up. I turned quickly to the left and our pursuer followed. One large warehouse building looked just like the next. I was lost and panicking severely now. I rounded the next corner and there was Lenny's car pulling out of one of the warehouses. Now, Lenny was in front of us again and the BMW was behind us still.
"Oh shit, oh shit," Scotty was saying over and over. "I'm calling 911. But where the hell are we?"
"I don't really know. Some sort of industrial park on the east sideof town. You can give them Lenny's license plate number though."
Lenny slowed down until I was right up on his bumper. I couldn't figure out what was going on until the BMW sped up and was tailgating me. I was getting sandwiched in and Lenny was slowing down now to almost a crawl. Just as we reached some railroad tracks, I slammed on my brakes. The BMW hit my rear bumper but not hard. Lenny couldn't come to a complete stop quite fast enough and left me a small escape space. I cranked my steering wheel hard to the left and punched it. I drove onto the railroad tracks, straddling the rails, and headed down them as fast as I could go without the railroad ties shaking my poor Mustang to pieces.
Scotty was trying to talk to the 911 operator, but he was stuttering so badly from the bumps that he couldn't make her understand him. Besides the fact that the situation wasn't exactly a textbook emergency, being on a cell phone, and Scotty's hysterical stuttering must have convinced the operator that it was a crank call and she actually scolded poor Scotty and hung up. Scotty threw his phone on the floor in anger. He looked up and said, "OH MY GOD, NO!"
I saw it at the same time. The triangular pattern of bright lights bearing down on us was unmistakable and then came the sudden, alarming, bone chilling blast of a train whistle. The conductor, who must have been as shocked to see us as we were to see him, blasted the horn long and hard a second time. Warmth spread through my crotch as my aching bladder released its contents into my dark sweats. "Holy shit!" I cried out and swerved to the right in order to drive off the elevated rail bed into the burrow pit on the side. My low centered Mustang wouldn't clear the rails and each time I swerved, the steering wheel just jerked free from my grasp as we continued on down the tracks toward the oncoming train.
"We gotta bail!" screamed Scotty grasping for the door handle.
"No wait!" I slammed on the brakes, threw my car in reverse and started backing up. It was so hard to drive backwards, and I couldn't go that fast. The train was gaining on us and blasting its stupid whistle. Like I couldn't see it was coming for hell's sake. The damned whistle was just making me even more nervous than I already was. Scotty was totally freaking out now and repeating over and over, "We're gonna die, we're gonna die."
"Would you please shut up!" I shouted in frustration.
"I can't shut up. You shut up. We're gonna die!"
"Not you, that fucking train driver. What the hell does he think, blasting that fucking whistle is gonna do? It's not like I don't see him already." I was past tears, past panic even. I was in the flight phase of my fight or flight instinct. I was driving as fast as I could backwards, still bouncing around like crazy on the railroad ties. The Mustang's tires were bouncing off the right side of the rails and then the left side as I barreled backwards toward the road where Lenny and Mr. Petrovich were waiting for us. At the last possible minute, we reached the road and I swung onto the pavement on the opposite side of the train tracks from Lenny and the BMW just as the train barely missed my front bumper and crossed over the road. The red warning signs were flashing and the bell was ringing. The conductor was hanging out the window of the locomotive flipping us off and screaming obscenities.
I hit the brake, shifted to park, and leaned against the steering wheel, shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. I started to cry from relief at our escape and couldn't stop. Scotty reached over and gripped the back of my neck and said, "Let's get the hell out of here before that train ends and we got Lenny and the old guy after us again. I got control of myself and started the car. I made a U-turn and headed quickly down the street. When I saw the sign, I wanted to cry again, but I was past that now. Of all the signs I had ever seen and the many I'd helped Bodie steal, none was more appropriately worded than this one. It read, 'Dead End.'
I turned around and headed back toward the train, but the train had already passed. Lenny's Celica and Mr. Petrovich's BMW were end to end across the street, blocking our exit. I looked at Scotty and he looked at me. "Should we run for it?" He just shook his head for no. He had given up and resigned himself to whatever fate those creeps had in store for us. But not me, I slowed to nearly a crawl and approached our two assailants. I'd shifted from flight mode into fight mode. I was in hopeless desperation territory now and feeling I had little choice. Lenny had a pistol in his hand, and Mr. Petrovich stood with his arms folded smugly across his tailored suit jacket. Just as they expected me to stop, I punched it and swerved to the right. I jumped the gutter and smashed into the chain link fence mowing it over in the process. I saw Lenny point the pistol at us just as the Mustang's tires jumped the curb. I heard a loud crashing sound of breaking glass.
"Oh my God, he's shooting at us," yelled Scotty, ducking down and covering his head. I knew instantly that it wasn't a gunshot we heard. I knew exactly what it was, but there was no point crying over a little spilled liquor right then. I scraped my driver's side fender against the front bumper of the BMW as I slipped past and then sped down the road with my foot smashing the gas pedal against the floorboards. I managed to find my way out of the industrial park but not without the BMW catching up to me. We were in a high speed chase, and I was trying my best to lose him. I wasn't exactly a skilled driver to begin with, and while the Mustang had pretty good power, the BMW was faster.
Suddenly, I saw something that made my heart leap for joy. It was another sign. It wasn't one I'd ever consider stealing, although it wouldn't surprise me if Bodie would try. It was black letters with a white background that read, "POLICE."
"We're saved!" I cried out. I sped up and fishtailed into the parking lot of the police station. The BMW sped on past. We'd done it. We'd escaped. We jumped out of the car and rushed into the station house. The Sergeant at the desk looked up curiously at us when we burst in. He sat behind a battered old desk. To his left was an older woman not in uniform who paid us no attention at all.
Scotty and I both started talking simultaneously, spilling out the various details of our harrowing escape. The Sergeant held up his hand and yelled at us to shut up. We did and he asked me to calmly explain what was going on and told Scotty to keep quiet.
"Well sir, we were getting chased by this evil guy in a BMW and one of his goons named Lenny. We couldn't shake them and Lenny had a gun and we were scared for our lives, and then we saw your sign, and we were so relieved, so we turned in here and of course, they took off because they don't want to mess with you guys. If you hurry and send someone after them, you might still catch them."
The burly cop looked at me and said, "We'll get to that. First explain why you think they were chasing you and why you think they're bad guys or 'goons' as you called them."
"Oh yeah, well, we went to check on our friend, William, who lives in the Mandarin Court trailer park. We knew there was something strange going on with his old man and thought he was abusing William somehow. When we got there, this Lenny guy was there. Oh wait, I got his license number." Turning to Scotty, I said, "Pull out your phone and give them the plate number."
Scotty searched his pockets for his phone. "Shit. I threw it on the floor of your car," Scotty said. I gave him the keys and he headed out to retrieve it.
"Go on with your story," the large officer behind the desk insisted while Scotty was walking out.
"So there was also this newer, black BMW parked out front, and so we slipped around the back of the trailer and that's when we pulled the dead dog out of the trash can, but the sight of its balls being cut off and the horrible smell made us both puke. When we finished puking up all the snacks we'd eaten and what we drank at the party over at my house, we sat under the trailer window and we heard them talking inside. They made William pull his pants down and get a boner in front of them because his dad is like this whacked freak who thinks he can make some kind of concoction from dog balls that will make a guy's dick grow bigger, but the foreign guy in the BMW with the weird accent wasn't fooled and figured out that William had surgery to fix his bent penis and he saw the scar when William's father made him pop a boner in front of them, but his stupid old man still tried to lie to the ring leader guy about him being the one to slice open William's dick, when it was really an associate of my father down at thehospital. My dad hooked him up after my mom smashed William's nut with a doorknob and they had to cut one of them off and they fixed his bent dick at the same time, but that's kinda beside the point. So anyway, William wouldn't lie about it, and so Lenny and his boss made William's old man go with them to work off his huge debt he'd run up with the bad guys at some kind of lab, and so Scotty and me were following them and then I guess they figured it out that we were following them and I tried to just turn around and take off, but the BMW guy chased us and then Lenny got back in front of us in his piece of shit car."
I paused for a breath and said to Scotty, who had just returned from the parking lot, "Dude, give him the license plate number." Scotty held out his phone and the cop wrote down the number off the text message and waived the paper at the old woman sitting across from him. Until this point, I was so wrapped up in telling my story that I hadn't noticed how the cop had rested his chin in his hand and was smiling suspiciously over my crazy tale. The woman took the paper and typed the number into her computer.
"Go on," the cop said, "I haven't heard one this good in a while."
"Really sir, this all happened. Didn't it Scotty?" Scotty nodded fervently. I continued, "So anyway, like I said, we were caught in a sandwich between Lenny's Celica and the BMW, sort of like dead meat in the middle of the sandwich. Lenny slowed down and the BMW pulled up on our rear bumper and I figured out they were going to trap us, so I slammed on my brakes and the BMW sort of ran into my back end but it gave me just enough room to whip out from behind Lenny's piece of shit car and then I did a stupid thing and headed down some railroad tracks. At first, I thought I was brilliant for doing it since they didn't follow us, but then when the train came and we saw the lights and heard its horn, we freaked out and I realized it was really a bad idea, but sometimes I do things without thinking them all the way through and well, this was one of those times. I threw my car into reverse and backed up, but I couldn't go all that fast backwards and my tires wouldn't go over the rails and we were bouncing so much, but just before the train hit us, we reached the road and I swerved out of the way and then it turned out to be a dead end so we had to go through the two bad guys' roadblock and I ran over a fence and scraped the BMW's bumper and then they chased us at like 100 miles an hour until we saw your police sign and pulled in here to escape."
The cop continued resting his chin in his hand and smiling. The woman handed the cop a couple of computer printouts and he asked, "What kind of car did you say this license plate number was on?"
"It's a beat up old Celica that's mostly primer gray," I answered.
"This plate number was stolen months ago from a Ford Taurus."
"Lenny probably stole it and put it on his car," I suggested. I didn't really see why the cop wouldn't have seen that clearly himself. The cop shuffled to the second printout and scratched his head. He narrowed his glance at me which left me uneasy.
"Let's go look at your car," he suggested. I couldn't understand whyhe hadn't done an all points bulletin, or whatever they call it, to look for the BMW and Lenny. He didn't seem interested in helping us catch them like I'd anticipated. We followed him into the parking lot and ran his hand across the dented front panel sporting the freshly acquired black paint from the BMW and the messed up driver's side from the fence I'd mowed down. When he reached the back end of my car, he crinkled his nose several times and said, "How old are you?"
My first instinct was to lie. Fortunately, my better sense beat the words to my mouth and I admitted I was almost 16. He smiled at my phrasing of the answer. Then he asked if I had a license, which he naturally already knew the answer to. When I admitted that I didn't have one, he asked, "Is this car registered in your name?"
"No sir, I'm not sure whose name it's in. Maybe my mom's I think."
"This is the car you were driving when you struck the BMW?" he asked flatly.
I was getting nervous now. Something was up. "Yes."
He spoke into a microphone clipped to his sleeve and two more uniformed cops showed up almost immediately and stepped behind me and Scotty. He then asked, "If this is not your car, were you given specific permission to drive it?"
"Well no. I mean it's going to be my car someday when I'm ..." I didn't think I should finish the sentence and remind him again that I was underage.
"Well if it's not your car and you were not given permission to drive it, then I don't need your permission to search it. Please turn around, both of you, and place your hands against the car and spread your legs."
The look of distress on Scotty's face made me think he must be as upset at this turn of events as I was. The cold glass of my Mustang's windows transferred into the palms of my hands as I leaned against the glass. One of the cops kicked my feet further apart and began patting me down. He reached into my pockets and pulled out my cell phone, car keys, the pocketknife, and my wallet. He looked through my wallet and then showed the large number of bills I had left in there from buying snacks for the party at my house to the Sergeant. I'd just quickly grabbed the entire emergency cash stash from my 48 hour emergency pack and hadn't bothered putting the extra cash back. My dad always wanted to be prepared in case of an emergency, and we kept a stash of a thousand dollars in twenties inside a backpack with food water and other essentials in our closets. Next, our stocking caps were pulled off of our heads and inspected. They made us kick off our shoes and they inspected them as well. My cop groped my balls as he passed over my groin. I looked over at Scotty, who returned my glance and he looked just as frightened as I felt.
The Sergeant opened my car and began searching it. Meanwhile the groping cops grabbed our hands and pulled them behind us snapping them together with the cold hard steel of handcuffs. "What are you doing? We're the good guys. You're letting the bad guys get away. I explained it all to you." The cop dragged me backwards, told me to sit on the sidewalk curb, and told me to shut up.
"What are you doing this for? Are you arresting us?" The cop didn't answer me, other than to tell me to shut up again.
Poor Scotty was muttering softly "Oh God, no. Oh, God please no." If I hadn't already heaved my guts out earlier by William's trailer, I think I would have done it there in the gutter. All I could think about was Scotty warning me to turn off earlier and my stupid stubbornness. I started to pray with all my heart. I prayed for Scotty and William first, and then I prayed for me. The warm feeling I was hoping for didn't come. I started to worry that those thugs would go after William now that they knew we were on to them. It occurred to me that I not only put our lives in danger, I'd put his life on the line too. I wanted to just evaporate. I wanted to go back in time and redo this whole stupid-ass day.
When the burly Sergeant opened my trunk, his eyes popped and he stepped back. "I can explain about that," I called out and my cop kicked me and told me to shut up. I'm a slow learner, I guess. I just can't let things go when I know someone's got the wrong idea about something. The Sergeant held up a broken bottle and a half full one and looked over at me. Then, he insisted that Scotty and I both blow into a breath analyzer and was clearly shocked by the negative results.
"I bet you can. I can't wait to hear it," he said tossing both bottles back in and slamming the trunk closed for later investigation. He pulled out the second sheet of paper the woman inside had given to him and said, "It seems a car, perfectly matching the description of yours, was reported by an anonymous citizen for a hit and run with a black BMW. They said you robbed the driver and then hit his car in your escape. Is this the knife you used to rob him with?"
"No! You got it all wrong." My chin was quivering and I was shaking uncontrollably all over. "Don't you see? It had to be Lenny or his boss. Did he have an accent? They're obviously trying to set us up so they can get away. Why do you think we turned in here?"
The Sergeant cocked his head at me and a scratched at the back of his neck. "Yeah, I have been wondering about that part. I'll let the detectives sort it out tomorrow."
The cops drug us to our feet and shoved us into the station house. We were led to a small metal cage and one at a time, we stepped to the window. Our belongings were slipped into envelopes. My stuff was put into a white one labeled "EVIDENCE." Scotty's things were put into a brown one and he signed for them. We were both fingerprinted and they took mug shots of us. We were read our rights and led off to separate rooms for interrogation. I sat there handcuffed to a small wooden chair for what seemed like forever. Eventually, a guy who told me he'd been assigned as my attorney showed up and asked me to repeat my story. After retelling the same story to my lawyer, he advised me not to talk anymore to the police until I could speak with my parents. He took my dad's contact information and left. I told him I didn't know how to contact my mother. After the incident at the school, she was the last person I wanted to show up. I figured she'd demand I be sent straight to the gas chamber in order to teach me a proper lesson.
I was handcuffed again and led to a narrow hallway in the back of the station house. I assumed it was close to midnight, but I had no real way to know. I was set on a narrow wooden bench along with some other rowdy looking characters and my handcuffs were clipped to the metal bar running behind our backs. Minutes later, Scotty was led in and set next to me. He looked at me in utter dismay. We didn't speak at first. I had to keep shifting positions. My back was killing me and my arms were really sore from being handcuffed behind my back.
"Did you get an attorney assigned to you?" I finally asked. He nodded. "Did he ask you all about it again?" Again, he nodded.
"I don't get it. Why would they arrest us for trying to stop a crime?"
He looked at me like I was quite possibly the stupidest person on earth. "Are you joking? You're underage, driving a car you don't own, that has been freshly crashed. We're dressed in black, and you had a knife and a wallet stuffed with cash. Oh, and let's not forget the basket full of liquor bottles in the trunk. I told you this was a bad idea. I told you."
"I know. I'm so sorry Scotty. It's all my fault. Plus, I'm worried about William. What if those creeps go after him now that they think we're on to them?"
"Shit, you're right. They could."
"What do you think will happen to us?" I asked.
"I don't know. I'm really scared about it. There are some scary dudes in here."
"No shit. That big, drunk guy keeps giving me dirty looks like I insulted his girlfriend or something." I stared at the black flecks in the white linoleum at my feet for a minute then turned to Scotty again and said with a shaky voice and moist eyes, "Scotty, I'm so sorry I got you into this mess. Please forgive me."
Scotty gave a small shrug and said, "It's not all your fault. I chose to go along. To be honest, I was kind of into the excitement of it all at first."
Just then a female cop came up and uncuffed Scotty. "Your parents are here to get you. Let's get your belongings and then I'll lead you to them," the female cop said. She added, "You have no criminal record and we have no evidence you did anything illegal for sure tonight, but don't leave town for a few days. We'll want to talk to you some more." Immense relief washed over us.
"I'll call you after my dad shows up to get me out," I said. Then I added, "Can you go check on William for me please? I don't know how long it might be for dad to come get me."
The female cop laughed out loud and said, "You aren't calling anyone tonight, young man. You're being transferred to juvenile hall as soon as the bus is available. You're being charged with grand theft auto, felony hit and run, illegal transportation of alcohol and driving without a license. Oh, and possibly armed robbery." The words hit me like I'd been illegally slammed to the mat and had the wind knocked out of me. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Scotty looked back at me over his shoulder with sincere pity in his expression as the woman in the blue uniform led him off to reclaim his possessions and then to his loving family, warm bed, and freedom.
I sucked in a lungful of air and cried out a pitiful "NOOOOO!" The big drunk glared at me. I bowed my head and shut my eyes, "Dear God, please don't let them hurt William. And please, don't let them hurt me. Amen."